14450 Slices
Medium 9781855750357

Abstracts: Volume 1. Psychiatric Studies

Edited by C. L. Rothgeb Karnac Books ePub

000001 On the psychology and pathology of so-called occult phenomena: 1. Introduction. In: Jung, C, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. I. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1970. 260 p. (p. 3-17).

Certain conditions of psychopathic inferiority and altered states of consciousness, previously thought to be occult phenomena, are discussed to classify them and to resolve previous disagreement about them among scientific authorities. These include narcolepsy, lethargy, ambulatory automatism, periodic amnesia, somnambulism, and pathological lying, which are sometimes attributed to epilepsy, hysteria, or neurasthenia and sometimes described as diseases in themselves. The exceptional difficulty in defining these states is outlined and a case of somnambulism is presented to illustrate the problems of classification. A 40-year-old unmarried female, an accountant and bookkeeper in a large firm, had been in a highly nervous state for some time and took a vacation. While walking in a cemetery, she began to tear up flowers and scratch at the graves, remembering nothing of this later. In an asylum in Zurich she reported that she saw dead people in her room and her bed and heard voices calling from the cemetery. The conclusion was that the patient suffered from a psychopathic inferiority with a tendency to hysteria. In her state of nervous exhaustion, she had spells of epileptoid stupor. As a result of an unusually large dose of alcohol, the attacks developed into somnambulism with hallucinations, which attached themselves to fortuitous external perceptions in the same way as dreams. When she recovered from her nervous state, the hysteriform symptoms disappeared. Other cases of somnambulism and the findings of other researchers are briefly discussed. 17 references.

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Medium 9781855755048

CHAPTER FIVE: The meaning of dreams in the psychotic state

De Masi, Franco Karnac Books ePub

“The god created dreams to show the way to the dreamer, whose eyes are in darkness”

(Egyptian Papyrus Insinger)

Imprisonment in psychosis

The Schizophrenia Bulletin of the US National Institute of Mental Health includes a section, “First Person Account”, open to patients and their families. In some of these articles, patients diagnosed as psychotic discuss the way they live and their problems. (A collection of accounts by these patients and members of their families has been published in Italian by Bertrando [1999].) One of these descriptions seems to illustrate particularly well the state of mental imprisonment in which some patients live even when they have succeeded in recovering a part of their social capacity.

The patient concerned writes:1

“Over the years I have had many‘mad’ thoughts, but my main delusions, of grandeur—mediumistic phenomena—and persecution, have remained constant. These delusions are supported by such vivid hallucinations that I cannot usually distinguish them from reality, except by saying to myself that none of this is real, that what the people I love and trust tell me is true, that I am unusual only because I am schizophrenic, and that everything I think about the supernatural is due to an illness.”

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Medium 9781782204787

Chapter One: Secrets

Fried, William Karnac Books ePub

Every work of drama is driven by secrets. They are the source of suspense in all detective stories and of pathos and compassion in high tragedy. The vast domain of narrative that lies between those two genres—detective stories and high tragedy—is also impelled by unknowns that must be discovered. Of the films discussed here, Notes on a Scandal (Eyre, 2007), The Conversation (Coppola, 1974), and the two episodes of The Sopranos (Chase, 2000) are most illustrative of such unknowns.

Barbara and Sheba, the protagonists of Notes on a Scandal share the secret that Sheba is sexually involved with Steven, her student. But Barbara also maintains and lives in a secret world that she entrusts only to her journals. After Barbara has coerced from Sheba a pledge to discontinue the affair with Steven, Sheba keeps her meetings with him secret. Beneath these, however, are unconscious secrets related to anxiety about aging and death that remain inaccessible to the two women even as they incite their aberrant behavior.

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Medium 9781855758834

CHAPTER ONE: Freud's exemplary case of psychosis: Daniel Paul Schreber

Dalzell, Thomas Karnac Books ePub


In 1934, twenty-three years after Freud's Schreber text appeared, Arnold Zweig was able to ask Freud what to read in order to understand his teaching on psychosis—apart from his “Dr Schreber”, which he already knew (Freud, E. L., 1968, p. 99). Freud had written a number of papers on psychosis, but his 1911 text, based on what the famous German judge, Daniel Paul Schreber (1842–1911), had said about his illness (Schreber, 1903a, hereafter DW), was and remains the principle source for anyone wanting to understand Freud's aetiology of paranoia and schizophrenia. Before we can examine Freud's interpretation of the case, we need to investigate what Schreber said in his memoirs, and take account of the supplementary information provided by his patient and personnel files, as well as the expert witness reports by his doctor in Sonnenstein Castle asylum, Dr Guido Weber. After a brief biographical sketch, we will consider Schreber's clinical picture in 1884, when he was first admitted to Professor Paul Flechsig's psychiatric clinic in Leipzig; in 1893, when he was readmitted to the university clinic after being appointed a presiding judge at the Oberlandesgericht in Dresden, and transferred to Sonnenstein Castle asylum; and in 1907, when he relapsed after his mother died and his wife had a stroke. Weber reported to the court considering Schreber's discharge that the content of his final delusion was a religious mission from God to renew humanity, and that, for that purpose, he had to become a woman. We will trace the course of Schreber's hallucinations and delusions and see that although his autobiography does indicate an evolution (from persecution by Flechsig and God to his befriending the idea of becoming a woman, and, finally, claiming a redemptive mission), what remained a constant from the start of his second illness was the femininity of his subjective position.

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Medium 9781782200680

Chapter Seven: Fear of Death

Karnac Books ePub

Calvin A. Colarusso

Death and the fear of death are universal experiences. However, the degree to which any human being, man, woman, or child fears death, and the content of their fears, is highly individual. Further, in a brief article, or in a series of articles for that matter, the infinite variety of experience cannot be approached in any significant way. In this contribution, I provide examples from professional literature, my clinical experience, and literature and film to demonstrate a few ways in which individuals express and deal with this daunting developmental task. I begin, however, with a brief review of what Freud had to say about this matter.

Freud's ideas on the fear of death

Freud (1926d) related the fear of death to the following fears that occur in the course of development during the oral, anal, Oedipal, and latency phases: loss of the object, loss of the object's love, castration, and fear of the superego. The following quote describes the relationship between these early experiences and the fear of death, particularly the effect of the superego.

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